Truck transporting fuel to Gaza
Photo: AP

Hamas pleads with striking Palestinian fuel association

Efforts to end Gaza fuel crisis continue as Hamas officials demand workers end strike, transfer fuel delivered by Israel to Palestinian residents. Israel pledges to resume pumping once tanks are emptied

Hamas' government in the Gaza Strip asked a striking Palestinian fuel association on Sunday to resume deliveries in the impoverished territory, a Hamas official said.


Israel has sharply cut back on the amount of fuel pumped into the Gaza Strip after Hamas seized control of the territory in a bloody coup against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in June.


The association said it went on strike to protest against the limited supplies, preventing 265,000 gallons in fuel tanks on the Gaza-side of a border crossing from being delivered.


Israel has accused Hamas and the association of preventing those supplies from reaching UN aid agencies and ordinary Gazans. The largest UN aid agency in Gaza last week announced the suspension of operations, citing the shortage of fuel.


Israel said that attacks by Palestinian gunmen at border crossing have forced them to temporarily close crossings used to provide supplies to Gaza's 1.5 million residents.


The Hamas official said members of the government met with the leaders of the association and asked them to resume fuel deliveries.


The Hamas official said that Israeli officials have told Egypt and the United Nations fuel supplies to Gaza would increase once the tanks are emptied.


Peter Lerner, spokesman for Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, said the moment the tanks are emptied, more fuel will be pumped. He said he was not aware of plans to increase supplies.


The UN declined to comment.


פרסום ראשון: 04.27.08, 22:32
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